How do you get a dozen of the top online personalities in Australia to talk about your product?

Here’s one recent example of very clever marketing.

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in one of the more interesting online social networking / marketing projects I’ve seen in recent years – Project Vino.

Put together by wine podcaster Hugo Sharp, it involved about a dozen Australian Twitterers who were all sent the same three bottles of wine from Kirrihill. At 7pm on April 30th, we all jumped on Twitter, opened our bottles, and then drank them. Some of us were very sensible about it, tasting and then spitting. Others were… ahem… guzzlers. Hugo was on Twitter, walking us through how to properly taste the wine, what to eat with it, etc.

But I was on Yahoo Live Video with @jjprojects and @duncanriley and @kahunagirl and @ceibner and @bronwen and @m0nty and @spigrrl and others, chatting, drinking, debating religion, philosophy, ummm… you name it.

Project vino

I ended up QUITE drunk but the good news is that I was only a few meters from my bedroom – and I didn’t need to drive.

Now I’m no great expert on wine, but I really enjoyed all three bottles from Kirrihill Wines

* Companions Cabernet Merlot ‘06
* Companions Shiraz Viognier ‘06
* Tempranillo Garnacha ‘07

I especially liked the Cab Merlot but the Shiraz was the group favourite I think.

As an experiment in online buzz-building, I think it was a pretty huge success.

Think about it: most of the dozen people who were drinking, sorry, TASTING, have 1000+ followers on Twitter. And all night we were talking about the event on Twitter, talking about the wine vendor, etc.
In addition, many of us are relatively prominent bloggers and we wrote about it, like I’m doing here.

Duncan wrote about it on TechCrunch, the #1 tech blog in the world. And he also threw some video up on YouTube which is now ranked in the top five on Google for searched on “Kirrihill”. What’s that worth???

You can check out the number of times “Kirrihill” has been mentioned on Twitter.

I learned a lot about wine tasting, Kirrihill Wines and new approaches to using Twitter and Yahoo Live Video (which I’d never even heard of before). A great night. Thanks Hugo!!